The right gear is a must if you want to try and handle some of your own tree trimming. Whether you are simply shaping up a few small landscape trees or taking on the pruning for some larger established trees, the right tools will make the job easier and safer. The following list can help you get started.
Flexible leather gloves are a must. Thinner gloves work well for most trees, but you will need to go with thick gloves if you will be pruning anything with thorns. Also go with thick gloves or even chainmail gloves if you will be using a chainsaw or other powered trimmer.
Eye, ear, and head protection
Goggles are a must at a bare minimum. Choose a pair that completely covers and encloses your eye area. Glasses aren't enough, so choose goggles that fit over your glasses if necessary. If you will be using chainsaws or power trimmers, also invest in a pair of ear plugs or other ear protectors. Finally, wear a hard hat if you will be bringing down large branches from overhead or climbing high trees.
Hand pruners and saws
At a bare minimum, you will need a pair of long-handled bypass pruners and a pruning saw. Use the pruners on branches narrower than your finger and the saw for those wider. A small pair of hand shears can also be handy for quick cuts and close work. For cutting branches overhead without a ladder, consider a pole pruner. This has a saw on a long handle that you can move back and forth with a cord.
It's a good idea to sanitize your tools whenever you move to a new tree, that way you won't spread pests or diseases. A 5-gallon bucket filled with a bleach and water solution works well. Simply dip the tools inside to clean them. Keep a rag handy as well, so you can wipe off any sap or other debris as needed.
For most home pruning jobs, a pair of electrical hedge trimmers are sufficient. These will allow you to quickly shape smaller trees and hedges. If you are confident and skilled enough to use a chainsaw, you can also keep a small one on hand for taking down smaller trees or large limbs.
For more help with pruning your trees, or if you don't want to do it yourself, contact a tree service company like Pete & Ron's Tree Service in your area.